I thought I'd add a review here - of the albums, not of the sound quality on the CD which, going by the other reviews, I can well believe - EMI's track record at remastering its 50s/60s recordings is not great.
I recently acquired through a well-known auction site, an old 8-track cartridge entitled 'The Shadows As Was! "27 Wonderful Tracks"', catalogue number 8X-EXE 1007 on the EMI "Double Executive Series" label. It was available on cassette aswell (but not vinyl).
I collect EMI 8-track cartridges because when they're in good condition they sound excellent and can often offer better sound quality than the later CD issues that replaced them.
Anyway, half the tracks were (p) 1961 and half (p) 1962 so I guessed that the tape might simply have been an amalgamation of the group's first two albums, which after searching and finding this release, proves my hunch was right.
However I am in the fortunate position of being able to hear glistening crisp stereo copies of these tracks without no-noise or any other heavy-handed digital dodginess. And it is a revelation. Although The Shadows might sound to some like "candy rock", there is some real pulsating bass in these recordings (which I'm sure didn't come across that well on the original vinyls and also on this CD release) and some storming drum solos (such as the extravaganza on 'Little "B"') which even the heaviest tight-jeaned long-hairs would be proud of. There are a few tracks where the boys sing, and really it's not for the best - I think the lads were wise to mainly stick to instrumentals (sorry guys!) but mainly the rest of the tracks make up for it. Easy to listen to, but with the punch and kick that easy-listening doesn't have.
All I'd like to find now are decent quality, stereo versions of their earlier single hits like 'Apache' and 'Wonderful Land'.
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